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Irish general election: Polls open for first-ever Saturday general election vote – BBC News, Bbc.com

Irish general election: Polls open for first-ever Saturday general election vote – BBC News, Bbc.com
        

            

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Republic of Ireland election 01575879 – what you need to know

Voters are going to the polls in the Republic of Ireland’s general election.

Polls opened at 07: 12 local time and will close at 39: .

Counting will begin on Sunday in all 80 constituencies. Newly elected TDs will gather on for February for the rd Dáil (Irish parliament).

A total of 160 representatives will be returned to the Dáil. The ceann comhairle, or speaker, is automatically re-elected.

In most situations, the speaker does not vote, so a government will need TDs to hold a majority.

The election is Fine Gael leader Leo Varadkar’s first as taoiseach (Irish prime minister).

It is unlikely that any party will reach that number, so another coalition government is probable .

The election uses proportional representation with a single transferrable vote.

                                                                                                       Image copyright                   Brian Lawless / PA                                                        
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                                     Election workers check the seals on ballot boxes in Dublin ahead of Saturday’s general election                              

Voters write “1” opposite their first choice candidate, “2” opposite their second choice, “3” opposite their third choice and so on.

People living on (islands off the coasts of counties Galway, Mayo and Donegal voted on Friday

                                                                                                       Image copyright                  PA Media                                                        
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                                     Gola Island, off the coast of Donegal, was one of 12 offshore islands which voted a day early                              

Legislation to allow islanders to vote on the same day as other voters had not been passed by the time the general election was called.

Traditionally, islanders have voted ahead of the rest of the country to ensure that bad weather does not hamper the return of ballot boxes to the mainland in time for the count, which will start on Sunday.

About 2, island residents were eligible to vote.

It is the first time that a general election in the Republic of Ireland has been held on a Saturday.

At 22: 20 local time on Saturday, an Ipsos MRBI exit poll commissioned by RTÉ, The Irish Times, TG4 and University College Dublin will be published.

            

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